March 7, 2011 Subject:
Book of Paradise
Itsik Manger’s only novel, Di vunderlekhe lebnsbashraybung fun Shemu’el Aba Abervo (The Wonderful Adventures of Shmuel-Aba Abervo) is better known by its subtitle, Dos bukh fun Ganeydn, The Book of Paradise. It’s an irreverent romp (with topical allusions) through the precincts of heaven by two bad-boy angels, Shmuel-Aba and his sidekick Pisherl. They annoy the great personages of the Bible, make a dangerous foray into the Christian heaven next door, and—in Shmuel-Aba’s case—live to tell the tale, by outwitting the drunken angel whose job is to make little angels forget everything before they are born on earth. Charmingly illustrated by Mendl Reyf, the book was originally published in Warsaw in 1939.